Ric Leong

Forty Under 40 Winner 2016: CFO and senior vice-president, Avigilon Corp., Age 38

Ric Leong’s career path has been filled with a steady string of promotions that have culminated in his role as CFO and senior vice-president of a publicly listed company with a market capitalization in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

His biggest accomplishment yet at Avigilon Corp. (TSX:AVO) may well be his completion of negotiations and paperwork for a US$240 million senior secured syndicated credit facility.

“We didn’t raise the full US$240 million but the deal gives us access to US$240 million,” Leong explained. “It is the largest financing structure in the company’s history.”

Leong’s road to his current position started when he earned his chartered professional accountant designation while working at KPMG as a senior accountant in 2004.

He jumped to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was a successful biotechnology venture.

In his eight years at Angiotech, Leong had five promotions.

“I always joke that I pretty much got a new business card every year because I kept moving up the ranks,” he said.

Leong went to Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT; Nasdaq:WPRT) in 2012, when Angiotech was enduring financial troubles following its delisting from public stock exchanges.

Promotions followed. Leong had risen to the role of senior finance director when he left to work for Avigilon in mid-2014.

The lure of Avigilon was that he would start as vice-president of finance.

“It was a move up, for sure,” Leong said. “When I take positions with new companies, my mindset is that I don’t want to make a lateral move; I want to make a vertical move.”

Outside work, Leong remains a board member with the Kidney Foundation of Canada after a four-year stint as the foundation’s treasurer ended in May.

He is also committed to helping others on the job.

“One thing I’m proud of is mentoring my team members and seeing them succeed,” he said. “I’ve built great teams at each of the three companies where I’ve worked.”

Join us to celebrate the 2016 Forty under under 40 Awards January 25, 2017, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40